01 of 05
Why Stay at Hôtel de la Cité in Carcassonne, France?
Hôtel de la Cité: Top Place to Stay in France's Amazing Carcassonne
The oldest walled city in France, Carcassonne is so perfectly preserved, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visiting Carcassonne is a must for any luxury traveler who values history and architecture.
And Hôtel de la Cité is the #1 place to stay. Why? Opened in 1906, this hotel is gorgeously neo-Gothic...and is spectacularly set within the ramparts of the medieval village of Carcassonne.
Hôtel de la Cité's strengths are its:
• Picture-perfect setting within Carcassonne's walls
• Breathtaking vintage interior
• Fabulous local French food and wine
• Luscious outdoor lounge, the free-wifi Bishop's Garden
What Five Stars Out of Six Means
Hôtel de la Cité is a five-star hotel (the French system has six). What this means:
• Rooms are all different, charming and full of amenities, but not over-the-top luxurious
•|Service is English-speaking and knowledgeable, but not warm and personal
•Hôtel de la Cité is a five-star... hotel (the French system has six). Its
Hôtel de la Cité is privately owned by a French family. The property is a member of the MGallery boutique brand of Accor Hotels, a French hospitality powerhouse that also owns Sofitel, Novotel, and other brands. MGallery hotels are small and refined, with signature offerings that MGallery accurately calls "memorable moments."
• Here on Luxury Travel, find out what makes MGallery Hotels special
Why Carcassonne Is a Must-Visit
Carcassonne's rustic southwestern region of Languedoc-Roussillon has many lures for travelers. If you know France well but haven't been to Carcassonne, you're missing its:
• Historic sites that stirringly chronicle the tragedy of the Cathars, a local, pacifist, anti-clerical movement of the 1100s and 1200s
• Sailing down the bucolic Canal du Midi, a man-made waterway that connects the Atlantic with the Mediterranean. (Hôtel de la Cité has its own boat)
• Its Languedoc-Roussillon region's wonderful local dishes such as cassoulet and excellent local wine
Will you, personally, like staying in Hôtel de la Cité? Take the quiz >>Continue to 2 of 5 below.
02 of 05
Will You Like Hôtel de la Cité in Carcassonne, France?
Will Hôtel de la Cité Be Your Best Choice in Carcassonne?
You may seriously fall for Hôtel de la Cité if:
• You love France's off-the-beaten-path historic spots
• You want to be immersed in a medieval village full of legend end lore
• You're trying to visit as many UNESCO World Heritage Sites as you can
• You like dignified vintage hotels
• Your idea of a French vacation is walking around a gorgeous old village, lounging in a beautiful hotel, and feasting on fabulous French food and wine
You may not fall in love with Hôtel de la Cité if:
• You prefer bustling cities like Paris to quiet hamlets like Carcassonne
• Your aesthetic style is contemporary design, not a historic or traditional llok
• You want a hotel with an in-house gym and/or spaContinue to 3 of 5 below.
03 of 05
Rooms & Suites at Hôtel de la Cité in Carcassonne
Beautiful Antique Rooms at Hôtel de la Cité
The hotel comprises three old buildings connected by corridors. Some rooms, such as in the Tower, require quite a bit of walking and stair-climbing. Rooms overlooking the garden are quieter than those above the stone-paved street or the cafés next door.
Hôtel de la Cité has 71 rooms, qualifying if as a boutique hotel. Accommodations range from 50 simply done rooms to 21 more spacious suites and junior suites.
Rooms are all different in layout, and they vary somewhat in design. Some rooms appear neo-Gothic•
• Other rooms look downright medieval, while others have French country flair, with floral accents
My Hôtel de la Cité tower room, number 315, had a long hallway, beautiful leaded windows, a Juliet balcony, an appealingly sloped ceiling, and an antique armoire.
• The king bed was two twins pushed together, in the Euro style. Cotton sheets were starched, and felt crisp and clean, but not velvety
• The room's lavish, marble-and-brass bathroom... fairly shouted "take a bath. Toiletries were a fresh-scented French brand. The toilet was in a separate area off the hallway
• The closet was ample, with a room safe
• Modern touches in this vintage room included a new, widescreen TV, an iPhone/iPod dock, and free wifi (with, alas, a wavering signal during my visit)
• All rooms are non-smoking, but guests may light up in the hotel's Bishop's Garden
• Housekeeping is thorough
• Evening turndown service brings a box with eight chocolates molded to resemble the hotel's tower-topped contours
No Gym & Other Possible Disadvantages of Your Stay at Hotel de la Cite in
The hotel has no spa, but massages, facials, manicures and other services may be performed in guest rooms.
The primary drawback to staying at Hôtel de la Cité is its lack of exercise facilities apart from a smallish outdoor swimming pool that is open seasonally.
• Fitness-minded guests must get their workout in the form of energetic walks around the ancient village of Carcassonne, up and down its ramparts and stone steps
Read about the délicieux dining at Hôtel de la Cité >>Continue to 4 of 5 below.
04 of 05
Food and Wine at Hôtel de la Cité in Carcassonne, France
Dining at Hôtel de la Cité
Hôtel de la Cité offers exceptional classic and Southwestern French cuisine to guests and other visitors to Carcassonne.
A Millennial Breakfast (in a 1,000-Year-Old Restaurant)
Breakfast, included in room rates, is a highlight of a stay here.
The breakfast space is Chez Saskia, in a millennium-old stone building next door.
• Chez Saskia boasts a sunny hostess named Isabelle, bottomless bowls of café au lait, and memorable savories like chocolate brioches, French cheeses and patés, and farm-fresh eggs * Chez Saskia also serves lunch and dinner on most nights, in the lovely Bishop's Garden of the hotel
Michelin-Star Dining at Hôtel de la Cité
The hotel's fine-dining restaurant, Le Donjon, possesses the only Michelin star in Carcassonne.
• Chef Eric Bivent finesses classic Gallic dishes, as well as regional recipes from the Aude
• The airy, escutcheon-lined dining room resembles a baronial castle's hall
• The hotel calls iLe Donjon's design... "medieval-contemporary decor"; donjon mean dungeon
• In warm weather, Le Donjon also serves meals in the leafy Bishop's Garden
• I marveled at Chef Bivent's cassoulet stew; no wonder, as he studied at the world-famous Académie du Cassoulet nearby
• Diners may also arrange a private dinner in Hotel de la Cité's richly stocked w•ine-cellar cave La Barbacane, which seats 10 revelers
Discovering Local Wine at Hôtel de la Cité
Hotel de la Cité is committed to introducing its guests to the exciting wines of its Languedoc-Rosillon regionc. Guests can sample these local quaffs in the hotel's restaurant and in La Barbacane, its wine bar.
• The hotel will happily conduct a private wine-cellar tastings of local varietals from Carcassonne, including fizzy, not-too-sweet Crémant de Limoux
Connect with Hôtel de la Cité in Carcassonne >>Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05
Connect with Hôtel de la Cité
Hôtel de la Cité: For More Info
As is common in the travel industry, the Luxury Travel Expert was provided with a complimentary visit in order to describe the hotel. For more info, see our Ethics Policy.